Roots ‘N Blues ‘N BBQ wrap-up

I hope everyone had a good time this weekend. The weather was perfect, the music was hoppin’ and the barbeque was abundant. The organizers and volunteers should be commended for a remarkably well-run festival. Though the crowds were impressive there were little to no lines for beer, food or bathrooms. The bbq contest was supremely well-organized and ran on time almost to the minute. Speaking of bbq judging,  we were, after merely the third category of five, pretty well-stuffed. But we labored on through brisket and sausage courses as well, bravely forging on despite popping shirt buttons and loosened belts. It was a labor of love.

So how was the bbq? Overall, surprisingly average I’d say. Four of the six pork entries I had were mediocre. The ribs were merely decent, most of the brisket was on the dry side and the sausage had few highlights (one being a sausage-encased jalapeno). Only the chicken was universally excellent. Still, we had a lot of fun and I tip my hat to the competitors, all of whom clearly take great pride in what they do.

The winners after the jump.

From the RNBNB website:

Thank you to all 57 contestants who entered in this year’s competition! Judges had their fill of tasty BBQ and scrutinized entries on taste, tenderness and appearance. Congratulations to this year’s winners: Grand champion: Blaster BBQ
Reserve grand champion: Lit and Loaded
Best brisket: Moose Bros.
Best pork ribs: Bugs-b-Que
Best pork: Moose Bros.
Best chicken: Lit and Loaded
Best sausage: Lit and Loaded

I have no way of knowing if entry 152 (my favorite sausage entry, for instance) was Lit and Loaded so these results don’t mean much to me. But one question immediately jumps out. Blaster BBQ was named Grand Champion but didn’t come in first in any category. Conversely, two teams won two categories each and while one was named “Reserve Grand Champion” it just seems odd that you can win the overall title without winning any individual category. Perhaps Blaster BBQ place second in three or four categories while the two teams who won two categories each dropped off sharply in the other arenas of competition.

It’s a KCBS-sanctioned contest so I know there’s a standard scoring system. I’m not saying it’s flawed. I just would like to know how Blaster BBQ pulled this off. I’ll get with the bbq organizer and try to get some more background on how the scoring turned out.

As for the up and down quality of the ‘que itself, one of the other judges opined that perhaps American Royal going on in Kansas City at the same time as Roots ‘n Blues ‘n BBQ hurt turnout for some of the upper-echelon bbq teams. I don’t know. I do know that the barbecue for sale at Lutz’ and Lonnie Ray’s generally contrasted sharply with that of the competition.

Regardless, I still have not needed a full meal since Saturday afternoon. I brought a small salad and a tomato for lunch today and am not even sure I’ll get to that. Hope you had as much fun as I did and if you’re lucky that you got to see Roy C. Friday night. Anyone catch Buddy Guy?


Full results by category are posted at the KCBS website. The breakdown for Blaster BBQ is as follows:

Chicken: 13th
Ribs: 6th
Brisket: 2nd
Pork: 11th

So it turns out Blaster BBQ was consistently among the top quarter or so of competitors, even taking 2nd in brisket and 6th in ribs. Three cheers for them; that ain’t easy. For what it’s worth the most entertaining team, P.E.T.A (People Eating Tasty Animals) placed 55th out of 57 entries.


Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

6 thoughts

  1. I was at the award presentatation and wondered the same thing as you – how could Blaster BBQ win overall when they didn’t win any of the overall categories and other teams won multiples?? I guess it makes sense now. Thanks for the info. I can’t even imagine how stuffed you were after eating all that meat!

  2. For my table of judges each of six teams submitted six chicken thighs each. So each of us ended up with six chicken thighs each. Then six ribs, six servings of pulled pork, brisket, etc. Even taking just a couple of bites of each I was satisfied after three categories, overfull after four and borderline miserable after the fifth. I still haven’t had a full meal since then.

    Luckily we were given individual take-home containers in which to stash the good stuff that was left on our plates after each category. I bet I’ve got four pounds of barbecue in the fridge now.

    It was a really fun experience and exceptionally well-run. As to the reach of the festival, a couple of judges drove down from Iowa just to judge. They were heading back immediately following the contest! That’s dedication.

  3. I saw Buddy Guy and was somewhat dissapointed. Generally I like his songs, but his guitar riffs on stage were disjointed and seriously lacking in any semblance of relation to the song. That is a shame because I know the man has talent. One highlight was when he came down off the stage and made his way through the crowd while still playing and singing. That was cool no matter what you thought of the oeverall show.

    My other complaint was where the stage was placed. The stage was too deep and people on the sides could not see the entertainer because of the trees, etc. The screen was great for those with direct line of sight, but did nothing for those on the side.

    Don’t get me wrong, this is a great event and being in its second year, there are still bugs to work out. Most of the bugs from last year were ironed out, so hopefully next year that will also be the case. Keep it coming!

  4. I was also a judge for the bbq contest, an amateur, not certified and had the best time! I have to agree with you about the quality overall, but there were a few stand outs at my table and one of the ribs at our table was unbelievably good and I can only hope it was Bugs-B-Que. I only wish I knew who made what. I am little confused about the double blind judging.

    Still the funniest thing I learned all day was when I asked the gentlemen at my table, why they all had small coolers with them? It turned out they had all come prepared with blue ice, gladware, and a cooler to take home all the leftovers. So hilarious! After the 6 rounds I could not bring myself to take anything home with me lol

    I can’t wait for next year!

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